Tag Archives: Shopping

H&ohMygosh!

H&M

My first H&M experience happened 5 years ago while I was in Calgary. I had stalked their fashions online and couldn’t wait to step foot into an actual store. I was all hyped-up the whole morning and when I finally crossed the threshold I freaked.

(A little side note about me: When I get excited, I get really really excited. There are certain stores or places that I love (like Bulk Barn) and when I go inside I practically vibrate. My eyes dart around quickly and I become overstimulated. I’m giddy with possibilities. But the flip-side is that I get overwhelmed and can’t function properly. The awesomness is too much and I am unable to make basic life choices, like which trail mix I’d like to buy. It gets better once I visit the location on a regular basis, but if I’ve been anticipating going somewhere for quite awhile then it’s hopeless.)

I tried to calm my internal freak-out and told myself to walk slowly and look at all the racks of wonderful fashions. I had a bit of money to spend, knowing that it would be one of my stops while visiting family, but I quickly became overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things I liked and left the store without purchasing anything from a retailer I had waited years to visit. This happened the next two times that I was inside an H&M store.

I like H&M because I find them to be classy, fashionable and trendy all rolled into one. You can spot a vintage inspired piece with a peter pan collar right next to an edgy sweater with leather patches on the shoulders. They carry garments that are easily added to your current wardrobe at reasonable prices. Sure, not every thing inside their walls is for me, but its my kinda store.

Since that first encounter, I’ve spent 5 years hoping that they would one day open their doors in Winnipeg. Sure enough, that day finally came.

Amid much hype, fist pumping, dancing employees, security guards and news crews, H&M Winnipeg cut their red ribbon and opened shop yesterday morning at 11:00am. I figured that for a Wednesday morning it wouldn’t be too insane so I packed-up my little guy and made my way to the mall. I’ve waited 5 years after all and dammit, I’d be there on the first day!

As I rounded the corner I was made an ass of for assuming there would only be a small crowd. I stood in shock as the line-up of people was half a kilometer long, winding through the mall. The music was blaring and the place was buzzing. I cut through the line and went straight for Starbucks. I wasn’t dealing with any of that nonsense until I had an empty bladder and a coffee in my hand.

I finally decided to get in line at 11:30 when it shrank a good amount and Eli and I only waited for about 25 minutes. He stayed happy eating grapes and I stood and people-watched. A CBC reporter came and wanted to interview the two girls behind me, to which they quickly declined because they were skipping class. After walking down the length of the line, they ended-up interviewing the guy standing right in-front of me as he was the next lucky individual to enter the store (they were letting someone in the store every time someone would leave so they could keep things under control).

Finally it was my time. The lady waved me through and I pushed the stroller into paradise. It was overwhelming. It was crowded. The DJ was deafening. The lines for the fitting rooms and the registers were winding through the whole store. I could barely get the stroller around people and racks of clothing. But I tried to take a peek at some clothes and look for a certain skirt that I’ve been trying to find. A few minutes in to my shopping my sister phone. So I pushed Eli, glanced at clothes, tried not to hit people and talked on the phone. I realized this wasn’t working and decided to call it quits. I’d come back when things calmed down. I clearly wasn’t getting anywhere and Eli wouldn’t sit for long enough to wait in any sort of line. I slowly made my way to the front of the store and was just about to leave when Eli grunted at me (because the only two words he can say are Bubble and Cookie). I looked down and he held up two pairs of tights that he had pilfered from somewhere. Not only did he have them in his lap trying to steal them, he had been eating the tags. Yes, eating them. They were chewed, mushed-up and soggy. Disintegrating actually. He had a huge smile on his face and looked pretty proud of his make-shift snack. I changed course and veered in between two clothing racks and had a moment of panic. I almost unknowinly stole some clothes and Eli ate the tags. I got all hot and red, threw the tights under a bunch of skirts and made a B-line for the exit. Am I proud of it? No. But I’m owning it.

So that was my H&M shopping experience yesterday. After waiting for 5 years and anticipating opening day, it sucked and my kid ate their stuff.

Next time will be better.

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I ♥ Thrifting

I love thrifting. Ever since I was able to make my own fashion choices and was allowed my two cents for where I wanted to shop I’ve had a passion for perusing second-hand stores. It’s the unknown, the hunt, the treasures, the obscure, the potential style and individuality and, yes, the price tag that draws me in. I also feel like I’m doing my small part in the world to help out when I buy second-hand.

Jr. High was where I started my self-expression through style. I loved silly t-shirts, button-ups, old-man trousers, cargo pants, suspenders, skirts and 70’s cardigans…all paired with my Doc Martens of course. My mom still bought me a lot of clothes and she hated taking me to Value Village, something about the smell and the feel of the garments bothered her. I didn’t always look like a punk rocker rag doll and, thank goodness, over the years my style has changed and shifted. On a side note: I was recently going through my wardrobe doing some tidying-up and realized that about 75% of all of my clothing is thrifted, gifted or hand-me-downs. I really don’t spend much on clothing and, when I do, it’s usually from a sale rack. Target has ridiculous discount prices on women’s clothing. 

I do also shop else where now. I find that most pants are better to buy new with a proper fit (although I did alter a couple of pairs last year to make them work, and work they do!). Sometimes I’ll go a few months in between thrifting but after a lull I’ll always find myself back surfing the racks.

Now, when a-thriftin’ I go, I usually head to MCC or the Sally Ann before the V.V. Boutique mega store. I like supporting the Mennonite Central Committee and they’ll still sell a Banana Republic sweater for under $3.

My son has a problem with losing sweaters at school. He was down to one hoodie and when you live in a deep freeze like Winnipeg, one sweater doesn’t cut it. So yesterday I packed-up Eli and headed to our local MCC store.

I scored three sweaters for Rhys, a jacket for Amelia, a toque for Eli and a beautiful hand-dyed wrap skirt for myself. I was considering putting a few things back when I was approached by a volunteer and asked if I had a few minutes to spare to do a survey. Considering I love MCC and am there fairly frequently I figured I could take some time to do it. It was two pages long and, when finished, she handed me a $10 gift certificate to the store! I only ended-up paying $2 for all of our clothes.

Thrift Store Score!!

I usually leave the thrift store wondering why I don’t always try there first. My money is going to help people and there are so many newer, gently used clothes that have more life to give (not to mention shoes, books, housewares, and craft supplies) . Why are we spending exorbitant amounts of money on clothes that are the latest and greatest and have a certain label attached? Truth be told, most of my favorite articles of clothing that I’ve owned over the years have come from second-hand stores. I would love to start hitting-up some of the higher-end vintage and consignment stores in Winnipeg as there are quite a few that I’ve heard good things about.

So, do you love the hunt as much as I do? Does your personal style work well with thrifting? Or have you *gasp* never tried?

 

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Off to the thrift store we go!

After much thought I’ve decided to thrift again. Not that I ever really stopped seeing as visiting thrift stores gets my blood a-pumpin’. But I’ve felt the need to simplify and redo this exercise of removing myself from the throngs of clothes-obsessed consumers. I think that my rules with change a bit this time around and my time-frame will be Rhys’ school-year. I have two more purchases to make (a fall sweater and rain boots) and then I’ll be good to go! Expect to see me at your local thrift store come September…anyone want to join me?

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Coming home.

Whelp….I came home around dinnertime last night to a barfing girl.

Grand Forks was great. My mom and I shopped until we (quite literally) dropped and then got up and did it again the next day. Target, Gordman’s, TJ Max, Columbia Mall and then Target again. It was wonderful. I have to admit that I felt anxious about spending the money but that money was saved-up and set aside specifically for that reason so I suppose I shouldn’t worry about it. We went to some delicious restaurants, went golfing, had a swim and even found time to exercise. One of the highlights of the trip for me was that I got a new pair of cowboy boots. Yup, I did and they’re sexy!

Saturday night was an interesting experience and a first for me. We were at a restaurant in downtown Grand Forks called ‘The Toasted Toad’. Quite a nice little place actually. The weather had been insanely humid all day and just after we had sat down and started eating we looked outside and I could have sworn we were in the middle of a hurricane. The rain was coming down in sheets going sideways. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a cow flying past the window. We were halfway through our dessert when the power went out. It was a good thing the restaurant had big windows or else it would have been pitch black. I thought that it was kinda fun to eat our Brie cheese wrapped in puff pastry topped with brandy apples in the dark. The lights came back on while I was struggling in the washroom (which was pitch black) using my cell phone as a flash light. Good timing.

Anyways, we had a fun time but apparently Ammie got sick on Sunday night and I came home to the tail end of it. I’d go into detail because it’s kinda funny but I’m sure it would upset your stomach. I’m glad to be home taking care of my sick girl. I had her all wrapped up in a towel sitting on my lap in the bathroom last night as she fell asleep with her head on my chest. It’s never fun being sick away from your mommy.

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T-A-R-G-E-T!

Well, it’s that time of year again folks. It’s time to pack-up my giraffe print overnight bag, wave goodbye to my husband and kids and head down to the beloved town of Grand Forks for some much needed retail therapy with my shopaholic mother. I have butterflies in my stomach because I’m just that excited. Target-Target-Gordman’s-Target…oh boy! It’s not that I really NEED anything (although I’m sure I’ll be justifying all sorts of purchases within the next few days), it’s more that my sanity is hanging by a thread and it’s just so nice to be able to carry-on a conversation or try on clothes without a million interruptions.

So I’m off for a few days. Hopefully I’ll return to you much more calm and relaxed and in the right frame of mind to tackle painting the basement all by myself….

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